By David Klepper Associated Press
ERWIN, N.Y. — A 29-year-old New York state trooper responding to a call about a suicidal and possibly armed man barricaded in his home near the Pennsylvania border early Monday was fatally shot along with the suspect, a 43-year-old school principal, officials said.
Trooper Nicholas Clark was among responders to a 3:30 a.m. 911 call from the estranged wife of Steven Kiley, said State Police First Deputy Superintendent Chris Fiore at a news conference attended by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Clark was fatally shot during the response, and Kiley was later found dead with a gunshot wound inside the home in Erwin, near Corning.
Kiley was principal of Bradford Central School, which has 280 students in grades K-12, according to the state education department. A message left at the school was not immediately returned.
Clark, of the hamlet of Troupsburg in Steuben County, was a two-time state wrestling champion and standout football player at Canisteo-Greenwood High School. He spent a year at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro on a wrestling scholarship before transferring to Alfred University, where he played football. He was a two-time All-America honoree and held the school record for career tackles at 377 until 2017.
“He was the toughest kid I ever had an opportunity to coach. He was a great player and he was great leader — a guy that always did things the right way,” said Alfred head coach Bob Rankl, who has held coaching positions at the school for 20 years.
Clark graduated with a degree in environmental studies in December 2011 and tried out for the Buffalo Bills the following May. He was invited as a free agent to the team’s spring minicamp in 2012.
Clark graduated from the New York State Police Academy in 2015 and was assigned to barracks in Ithaca and then Auburn.
“He transferred back here to the Bath barracks in August 2017, where he was very proud to serve the citizens that he called friends and neighbors, to try to give back to the community,” State Police Maj. Richard Allen said.
We are saddened by the death of New York State Police Trooper Nicholas Clark, who was shot and killed in the line of duty this morning. Our thoughts and prayers are with Trooper Clark’s family and colleagues. @nyspolice pic.twitter.com/G6fOASw2CA
— Pasco Sheriff (@PascoSheriff) July 2, 2018
Cuomo called Clark “a stellar trooper with an extraordinary record. He had his whole life before him.” He ordered flags across the state to be flown at half-staff until Clark’s internment.
Clark is survived by his father, Anthony Clark; his mother, Alfred University professor Theresa Gunn; and a brother.
The troopers’ union said it would help with arrangements for the funeral and Clark’s family.
“Trooper Clark is a hero who made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of serving and protecting others. Despite the inherent dangers in today’s society, our troopers have answered —and will continue to answer— the call of duty again and again,” said Thomas H. Mungeer, president of the New York State Troopers Police Benevolent Association.
The shooting, near SUNY Corning Community College, drew a large police presence throughout the morning.
A procession of dozens of state police cars with lights flashing followed the coroner’s vehicle on Route 17 carrying the body of the fallen trooper to a hospital in Binghamton.
This marks the second time a New York state trooper was killed responding to a domestic call in just under a year. Trooper Joel Davis, 36, was fatally shot July 9, 2017, in northern New York by an Army soldier as he responded to reports of gunfire at the soldier’s home near Fort Drum. The soldier also killed his wife and wounded another woman before surrendering to troopers.
Davis had been the first New York trooper fatally shot in the line of duty in 10 years.
In April 2007, Trooper David Brinkerhoff was accidentally shot and killed by another officer during an intense gunbattle in Margaretville with a suspect who had shot and wounded another trooper.
In September 2006, Trooper Joseph Longobardo was fatally shot in an ambush by an escaped convict in Chautauqua County. That same year, Trooper Andrew Sperr was shot and killed in March in Big Flats when he stopped the vehicle of two suspects who had just robbed a bank.
A procession of state police has ended here after a trooper from Troop E was killed in Corning this morning. pic.twitter.com/GNROGw6Q88
— Amy Hogan (@AmyHoganTV) July 2, 2018
State Police fill Lourde’s hospital in Binghamton after Trooper was killed in Corning this morning pic.twitter.com/bMFaaRvAPt
— Dylan Kuhn (@hahKUHNamatata) July 2, 2018